Tag: Church Fathers

Proof texting, the Bible, and the Church

Still life with Bible, Vincent van Gogh

Providing a quote from the Bible seems like a good thing if you’re trying to convince someone else about what the Bible teaches. But often enough, you get another verse back at you, without context. That’s proof texting.

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Twitter discussion – an Easter Egg

Easter eggs

It’s a common belief that Easter is pagan. One claim is that the name is derived from Ostare or Eostre, a pagan goddess. I tweeted in response to various tweets claiming such nonsense. I had an interesting discussion with a very opinionated lady. I want to post a few notes here on how seemingly educated people are drawn into this nonsense, and how bizarre their arguments can be.

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The Passover of the Jews

The Sacrificial Lamb - Josefa de Ayala, ca 1670

Three times the Bible refers to Passover as the Passover of the Jews. John 2:13, John 6:4, John 11:55.

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Why Sunday is an improvement on the sabbath

Icon of the Resurrection

With no weekly 7th day sabbath under the New Covenant, Christians chose the most important day of the week to hold as special – Sunday, the day Jesus rose from the dead.

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Socrates and Sozomen on Christian observance of the Sabbath

Habakkuk, Septuagint fragment

Adventists quote selectively to make it look like many Christians assembled on the sabbath, every sabbath. It’s clear from the source documents that they fasted on the sabbath, in memory of Jesus being in the tomb – it wasn’t a sabbath observance like the Jews and the Adventists have.

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Adventist misrepresentation of St Patrick

Reputed site of burial of Saint Patrick, in churchyard of cathedral in Downpatrick, Northern Ireland

St Patrick is imagined to be a Sabbath keeper by many Adventists. The two writings we have of his, the Confession of St Patrick and his Letter to Coroticus, say nothing about the Sabbath.

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Adventist misrepresentation of The Constitutions of the Holy Apostles

The Synaxis of the holy and the most praiseworthy Twelve Apostles

The section Adventists quote is about the 10 commandments, and amongst the 10 commandments is the commandment about keeping the sabbath. The document is not instructing Christians to keep the sabbath. It’s citing the 10 commandments. That’s not honest quoting on the part of Adventists.

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The 10 Commandments and the New Law in Catholic teaching

Pope Pius XII

Here we look at Catholic explanations, showing that this concept of the 10 Commandments being part of the Old Covenant legal code, and therefore not the legal code in effect today, is indeed believed by Catholics and supported by Catholic teaching.

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St John Chrysostom on the Sabbath

St John Chrysostom, soapstone carving

St John Chrysostom makes a very interest point: 9 of the 10 Commandments were part of natural law, known to man before the 10 Commandments, and therefore not in need of any explanation. The Sabbath commandment was not like this – it needed to be revealed, and that is why it did not remain binding when the Mosaic Law came to an end – it was not part of natural law.

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What Catholics Believe – Mary, the Virgin Mother of God

Madonna enthroned with Angels

As the symbol of the Church, and as the first Christian, Mary is now what we will become. She birthed God into the world; we are called to bring God to others. She was sinless; we will be made spotless. She was taken body and soul into heaven; we will ultimately be resurrected and our bodies reunited with our souls in heaven.

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Testimony – Adventist converts to Maronite Catholic

St John Maron

This is a series of e-mails I got from a lady who converted from Anglican to Adventist, spent 20 years as an Adventist, realised how wrong it was, went back to the Anglican church for a while, and then finally converted to the Catholic faith. … “I have only recently discovered your Catholic help webpage on the net and wish to thank you for your courage in sharing your faith, plus the extensive biblical/Early Church Fathers debunking of SDA teachings re Catholic Christianity, salvation, the role of Jesus Christ etc. that you have made available.”

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What Catholics Believe – Sunday observance

The Resurrection of Christ

Catholics (and most other Christians) believe Sunday is a special day to be celebrated, because it is the day Jesus rose from the dead. The Jews kept the Sabbath on Saturday, and this is reflected in the 10 Commandments. However, only the moral code of the Old Testament is applicable to Christians – we don’t need to sacrifice animals, keep Passover, Yom Kippur, or the Sabbath, and we are free from the dietary restrictions as well.

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Is Easter Christian? A reply to Samuele Bacchiocchi

The Crucifixion of the Parlement of Paris

The late Adventist scholar Samuele Bacchiocchi was influenced by the teachings of Herbert Armstrong, and promoted the observance of Jewish holy days instead of Christian holy days. In his Endtime Issues #43 he rearranges the historical evidence to form a revised version of history to support his arguments. He beautifully provides us with a typical example of how historical evidence is misapplied.

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Erol – 1 Corinthians 16 verses 1-2

Angry ant

Over at Answering Catholicism, Erol is making some interesting claims about the Catholic Church. Apart from subscribing to the long discredited Vicarius Filii Dei = papal title myth, he has a number of less unreasonable articles about Catholicism, to which he objects.

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Should Adventists celebrate the Resurrection with the rest of Christianity?

Icon of Christ Crucified, chapel of San Damiano, near Assisi

I applaud the Adventists, and others, who have seen the significance of Easter and Lent, and choose to celebrate Christ’s resurrection as the early Christians did, and set time aside in their calendar for preparation for that celebration, along with the rest of their brothers and sisters in Christ, throughout the centuries.

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More on Sunday and Pope Sylvester I

Michael Schiefler has been trying to squeeze more water out of a stone on his anti-Catholic website. I commented on it before. He seems to think he has the name of the Pope that changed the Sabbath to Sunday nailed down – Pope Sylvester I. Scheifler is basing his claims on second-hand information based on what are probably spurious documents.

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Ellen White on the deification of man

The Ladder of Paradise - St John Climacus

That sounds similar to the doctrine of Theosis, taught by the Eastern Orthodox Churches, and the Eastern Catholic Churches. Western Catholicism doesn’t give it much attention as far as the use of the term divinisation goes, and the Eastern part carries it over from their Orthodox heritage. If you see a difference between divinisation and deification, Theosis refers to the former … some people see a difference, some people consider them perfect synonyms. See below – probably equivalent to the Protestant concept of sanctification.

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The original Adventists

James and Ellen White

Modern Adventism has corrected itself, and returned to the historical Christian faith taught by the early Christians. Many within Adventism today are objecting to this, and retain some of these anti-Trinitarian teachings … one of the reasons they cite is that the Adventist church is accepting Catholic doctrines.

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Worshipping Ellen White

In his latest Endtime Issues (#141,) Samuele Bacchiocchi again criticises the papal stand on moral issues, and the commitment of Catholics to the support of Catholic moral teaching. It looks like moral strength is a sign of the end-time evil power. Or so many Adventists would have us believe.

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Pope Sylvester I – who changed the Sabbath?

Michael Scheifler has a “rebuttal” on his website to something I wrote. He claims that the pope who changed the Sabbath to Sunday was Pope Sylvester I. In light of the teachings of Ellen White, and in light of history – as taught by real historians – this cannot be seen as more than a failed attempt to make the argument seem viable. But it is not viable.

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